Keys to Success: Navigating Business in the Middle East with Corina Goetz

Date Posted:Tue, 26th Sep 2023

Keys to Success: Navigating Business in the Middle East with Corina Goetz

I hear so often, I worked/lived/been to Dubai – I know the Gulf region. But Dubai is not Saudi and what Dubai wants to achieve is not what Saudi wants to develop or Oman. Time and time again I have heard of large and small Western companies going to Saudi and think they know it all, only to loose a deal because they didn’t do their homework.


What do I mean by that? 

Here are my 5 things you must do before you pitch for a project or collaboration:

1.     Find out where the project sits within the countries Vision (there is Vision 2030 for Saudi or Vision 2035 for Kuwait, there is even Vision 2071 for the UAE). There really is so much information on each projects that fall under these on their websites, it just requires a little research and time.  

2.     How can you help your client or target company achieve their part of the country’s Vision? (sustainability, skill set within hospitality, expertise with a specific ground breaking process)

3.     Stalk the company and the people there – and I don’t just mean their website – look at their social media (which channels are they using and how, what message is being conveyed?)

4.     Build rapport and relationships ahead of time – support their social media posts, add thoughtful comments and add to their visibility

5.     Stay on top what is happening in the region: National Day is coming up? – Send them a message and make it about them and their country.

I know you have heard this before but building relationships is so important especially in the GCC. The companies that will have the biggest success are the ones that do their homework and start working on these relationships early. 


Corina Goetz is a Middle East Specialist, helping professionals understand how to do business better within cultural norms.

She is based in London but travels to the Middle East regularly